Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies, International Studies

First Advisor

Cullen Hendrix


Protest, Political science, Repression, Government


This dissertation focuses on conceptual development across multiple questions of political contention, with a focus on informational processes. In the first paper, I examine the interaction of informational and disruptive effects of protests with a formal model. The model shows that repression can have a screening purpose. Governments use coercion to set the terms of contention so that they only have to accommodate sufficiently aggrieved and salient groups, while filtering out the rest. The model also demonstrates that decreased cost of mobilization makes repression indirectly cheaper for governments, leading to more repression. In the second paper, I examine why governments ignore large protests while cracking down on seemingly innocuous ones. I model an environment, where activists cannot coerce the government to make concessions. The model shows small protests can risk exposing an incumbent government’s lack of interest in the citizens’ welfare and push them to make concessions in order to retain support. The third paper focuses on the preemptive use of repression, where governments target the opposition before it can mobilize. It demonstrates how the informational and functional channels of repression are not simply additive or separable, and how the presence of asymmetric information can modify the effect of repression by incentivizing bluffing or honestly signaling strength through preemptive repression.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Dogus Aktan


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

161 pgs


International relations